I have initially decided on a dialogue session at DAP Hqrs (4th Floor) at Jalan Yew, off Jalan Pudu Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 28th January 2014 at 8 pm with netizens and social activists after reading a joint statement by 83 young activists and writers urging me to retract my statement asking the PKR Penang State Assemblyman for Machang Bubok Lee Khai Loon to consider apologizing for the “flash mob” demonstration where kangkung was stuffed into the mouth of a cardboard cutout of the Prime Minister as they alleged that I was bowing down to the intimidation of “racists and political hooligans”.
Clearly, these young activists and writers signatories to the joint statement could not have read my statements in full or in detail, or had thought through the entire problem from all sides as to make such a call, and a dialogue session with them would be useful, as it is will provide an opportunity for an interaction where they could hear my views and I can benefit from hearing their standpoints.
The big issue involved however is not just about the “kangkung phenomena”, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Lee Khai Loon or about any one personality, but about the escalation of the racial and religious polarisation in Malaysia in the past eight months after the 13th General Elections, where an irresponsible and reckless group had enjoyed immunity and impunity to incite racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension so as to destabilise the country and create another May 13 racial riots to achieve their petty, selfish and even traitorous political objectives.
Thinking Malaysians must be concerned about the spiral of violence which the irresponsible and reckless group want to initiate in the country. Such a spiral of violence has started, as illustrated by the assault on the MIC Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan by an UMNO Youth leader two weeks ago and the violence against Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) enforcement officers by Penang UMNO thugs a few days ago.
There is also a growing spiral in the hardening of hatred and intolerance inimical to the maintenance of inter-racial and inter-religious relations, goodwill and harmony which have hitherto been the hallmarks of Malaysian nation-building.
For instance, Penang UMNO yesterday was involved in a call for a ban on pork being sold openly in public areas in Penang although as rightly pointed out by the DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh, open sale of pork in Penang existed even during British rule and under the Alliance Government, and no one had objected to it.
This is part of a conspiracy to up the ante to engineer and escalate animosity and conflict and poison inter-racial and inter-religious relations to create the conditions where there could be unrest in plural society leading to another May 13.
I welcome all Malaysians who are concerned these latest national developments in the country to the Tuesday dialogue which I have initiated on what is the best and most rational response to the escalation of racial and religious polarisation in Malaysian politics and public affairs in the past eight months after the 13th General Elections so as to create another May 13.
The Tuesday dialogue will be moderated by the DAPSY Chairman and MP for Rasah Teo Kok Seong. It will also be attended by DAP MPs and State Assembly members, including MPs Teresa Kok (Seputeh), Teo Nie Ching (Kulai), Loke Siew Fook (Seremban), Tony Pua (PJ Utara) and Ong Kian Ming (Serdang).
(Media Conference Statement during a Chinese New Year visit in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah (TUTA), Skudai on Saturday, 25th January 2014 at 10.30 a.m)